The Tom O’Connor Show: Festival Theatre, Paignton, 1977
When I was ten, I went on holiday with my parents to Torquay. The holiday was notably for two things. Firstly, before the age of ten, my diet had been extremely limited. I would regularly be seen eating packets of crisps and chocolate and very little else. At the Torquay hotel restaurant on the encouragement of my parents I tried everything that was put in front of me that week. Amongst other things, I discovered Sunday roast dinners for the first time and I have never looked back!
The other thing I remember about this holiday was the discovery that I had a very loud laugh. Tom O’Connor is a very likeable easy going, Scouse comedian who found fame on television in the seventies and was playing a summer season at the Festival Theatre in Paignton the year we visited Torquay, As a reward for eating everything, we all went along to the show and all seemed to enjoy the jokes. I must have enjoyed myself because O’Connor looking flawed, sort of paused, grinned and acknowledged my laugh whilst sort of not believing I was so loud. He then carried on his routine whilst I sat embarrassed in my seat. Nevertheless a legendary thing was born and today if I think any comedian is funny I unashamedly laugh out loud so thank you Tom for a very happy memory.
I was very sad to read about O’Connor’s death in July 2021.